Battery-powered outdoor equipment is growing faster than we ever thought it would, and it’s not slowing down. That said, gas isn’t going anywhere (save for those locations where state and local legislation isn’t forcing it out). This is particularly the case with tools like chainsaws, which generally demonstrate solid capability when they have fuel tanks rather than battery packs. Recently, our staff field tested the Craftsman S205 20 inch chainsaw (CMXGSAMY462S) to see if it measures up to the performance standards we expect to see from a gas-powered unit.
Here’s what they thought.
Craftsman S205 20-Inch Chainsaw Performance
Driving this tool is a 46cc engine. That’s 4cc’s larger than the other models in the brand’s gas fleet, which have bars ranging from 14 to 18 inches. This makes it among the more powerful saws in the homeowner/Prosumer market.
In terms of cutting power, we were pleased overall. It tore through softwoods without any problems. Our staff did find that you have to run the saw a bit slower on hardwood varieties. At least, slower than you would ~60cc farm- and ranch-class models. Nonetheless, it’s no doubt capable of such tasks.
Just run a sharp chain on that 20 inch bar, utilize the robust bucking spikes, and let this Craftsman chainsaw do the rest of the work.
Craftsman S205 20-Inch Chainsaw Design
If you’re a beginner learning chainsaw basics, or you don’t use them often, then you’ll like the fact that Craftsman put the startup procedure on top of the tool.
- Flip the on/off switch to on
- Pump the purge bulb ten times
- Pull the choke out
- Pull the cord 4 or 5 times
Once the engine sputters, push the choke back in, and you’re ready to cut. After you have the engine warmed up, make sure the switch is in the “on” position for later restarts (during the same work session, of course).
We will say that the Craftsman S250 is a bit heavy, even for a 20 inch chainsaw. With fuel and oil, it weighs 15 pounds. But there are more metal parts than competing residential units that our staff has handled. So, you might have extra weight, but you’re also getting a beefier build.
- Model: CMXGSAMY462S
- Engine: 46cc air-cooled
- Fuel Mix: 40:1
- Fuel Capacity: 22 ounces
- Bar Oil Capacity: 8.5 ounces
- Bar: 20 inches
- Chain: 0.50-inch gauge, 3/8-inch pitch
Our staff found one small thing they’d change–the gas and oil reservoirs’ design. Neither of them enables you to see the levels quickly and easily.
As a matter of practice, always fill both when you get started. And, whenever you fill the gas reservoir while you work, be sure to top off the oil as well, and you’ll be fine.
A little more space between the handle and the chain brake would also be nice. As it is, the space is tight enough that you have to pull it to the active position and then slide your hand behind. We would prefer that you simply pull it back with your hand already in position.
With those points out of the way, there were a couple of things our staff liked about this Craftsman 20 inch chainsaw’s design. For instance, tightening the bar in place are dual studs, which we like more than a dial at this power level.
Moreover, the chain tensioning is simple. You loosen the bar studs, flip the scrench to the slotted side, turn the tensioner, then tighten the bar nuts. It may not be as convenient as the tool-free tensioning systems, but it’s secure and effective.
Furthermore, the top access hatch is a nice touch. Turn the knob until the cap comes off, and you have simple access to the spark plug, air filter, and carburetor.
For the price, in particular, it’s not easy to find a 20 inch model with this kind of power and construction. Our staff thought Craftsman did an impressive job designing the S205, offering power and price to homeowners with storm prep, storm cleanup, and general tree maintenance needs.
Additionally, it’s a solid choice for larger property owners without a lot of trees.
Craftsman S205 20 Inch Chainsaw Price
This model retails for $249 and has a 2-year limited warranty.